Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Entries for Living Arts Montana

A couple of months ago, friend of mine talked me into doing a donation piece for the Living Arts of Montana's 6th annual Light Show. She is a volunteer for the group and was recruiting artists. I had heard about this show from other artist friends of mine who had participated in past years. All had nothing but good things to say about the experience. Though, I really had no idea what Living Arts did or what the donation would go to, refusing a chance to include a piece of my work seemed insane! The Light Show is to be held on May 14 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Missoula.

So I had to get to know a bit about the organization to really know what this was all about about. I mean, I can't enter a piece into an auction that benefits something horrific. (Not that I thought it was...)

According to Living Art of Montana's website:
Living Art presents at local, national and international workshops and conferences and teaches classes for professional care-givers and at the University of Montana Social Work Department.
Living Art works with other health care providers and organizations who share a common vision of creating holistic and integrative options for wellness.

(Living Art of Missoula's Website)

This year's Light Show theme is "An Evening in Red". I hadn't had much time to think about what I was going to submit what with the opening of the gallery and so many stinking holidays and events happening in the last bunch of weeks. So, now that things are more settled I thought hard about what that would mean to me, how I would capture it, what media I would use, how big it should be, etc. I've finally got a solid idea started.

Sneak peek at the sketch...

Yes, it is intentionally obscured. I'll post more progress pictures as time goes on. Now that the holidays are over, I'll have more time to devote to the studio (yaay!) and less pressure to create for fairs and for gifts.

The nice folks at Living Arts also invited all the artists signed up for the Light Show to exhibit in February one different piece of work in a group show. I think I'll include this one:

If you want to see it in person, it's in the gallery. Come on by!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kelly Smith, a.k.a, Stella Latwinski

Just last May, Kelly finished graduation at the University of Montana, Missoula with a master's degree in Economics. She quickly found a job at an environmental consulting firm and her career was on its way. But, just months after her graduation, Kelly let go of her new career and chose to be a full time freelance artist and illustrator. She hasn't looked back since.
She has changed her working name to Stella Latwinski -in honor of her grandmother- in order to separate her artistic side from her Kelly-ness.

One of her characters, Unconventional Ida, has had a loyal following and has inspired an entire world of unconventionality.

Kelly's, er... Stella's, usual artistic M.O. is Sakura Pigma Micron pens and Prismacolor colored pencil on recycled wood block or board that she gets as leftovers from her father-in-law's cabinet shop. She has recently been expanding her canvas to include jewelry and Moleskine Journals.

Artsiehorse Studio & Gallery is ecstatic to be able to carry some of her wood mounted prints, Journals, and Greeting Cards!

Visit her at her website:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spotlight on Pam Cozby

These beautiful fabric bowl sculptures are the work of Pam Cozby, another member of the TARTS fiber artist group out of Hamilton, Montana. Her work is entirely her own. With the help of a computer, Pam creates the patterns on the bowls from photos. Then she prints them onto plain white fabric to create one of a kind designs and finishes off with intricate stitching.
The result is absolutely stunning!

Every piece is a unique creation. There are boxes and vases, bowls and platter shaped designs. Some are fuzzy, and some are sleek. They all beg to be held.

Stop by and see what she has done lately...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Anita Mistry–Itsamistry Design Studio

Anita Mistry is a friend, as she would say, from the other side of the pond. Anita harks from Ashton-Under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, England and has graciously sent some of her divine handmade jewelry for sale here in the States.

Picture 164

Itsamistry Design Studio specializes in hand crafted jewelry, made mainly from sterling silver, combined with semi precious stones, artisan or glass beads, Swarovski or Czech crystals. Anita designs and custom makes a unique range of her own designs, where no two pieces of jewelry are the same or designs pieces incorporating client’s ideas and themes. The product range includes necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and hairpieces and is now being diversified into cake jewelry.

Anita was also invited to submit a craft jewelry project recently for a National Craft Magazine about the Ananta Bead Necklaces (which are stocked in the Gallery!) and was subsequently asked to run a workshop in the USA and is further developing a series of workshops at her studio for adults and children from age 8 upwards.

See more of Anita’s jewelry, paintings, greeting cards and other artsy creations on her website. http://www.itsamistrydesignstudio.com/

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On a Frosty Saturday Afternoon...

T'was a dark, cold, wintery, blustery, frozen solid Montana afternoon...

My fingers needed warming. The wool was calling me.
So I gathered roving and needles, scissors and foam mat.

And created some friends who wouldn't melt away any time soon.

Snowman Ornaments. Fun!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Naked Va Vang! Jewelry

Terra Hanks is a wild child who designs wild awesome jewelry! This is what she has to say about her art and herself:

"My Biz:
Naked Va Vang...Naked & Golden ( in Vietnamese)

"Terra Marcella Hoon Hanks is my name and I am the big (and only) boss/worker of the aforementioned business. I am eclectic and erratic but always emphatic. I have forever loved to make things with my own two hands...

"One of the first projects I remember doing is sewing Christmas presents-underwear topped off with a Santa stencil (for the males) and lavender drawer sachets( for the ladies). I think I was 8. I too, think it was for the entire extended family. I am not sure who's idea it was-whether my mom was embarking on cheap child labor or just trying to impregnate me with creativity-either way i started using the hands to do creative things and it just kept going.
"My inspirations used to live in about a two mile radius. I grew up with a twin sister. We were home-schooled on a farm-with horses+-in Iowa, so we would venture out collecting wonders of nature, daydreaming, spying on ghosts, horseback riding, pretending, and living freeeeeeeeeee. My collecting has definitely not stopped. I have piles of rocks and seeds and pods and leaves and bones and teeth and fur and feathers and even beautiful garbage. I love to make things with other found things. Always have. However, now that we have the world wide web and i have some years of travel under my belt, i have found global inspirations in the following in no apparent order....

*Sea Slugs
*Tribal Namibian Women
*Natural History
*Mineral Oddities
*Old Black & Whites
*Jacques Cousteau
*Make Believe
*Animal Patterns
*Native Americans
*Carnivorous Plants
*Coral Reefs
*My Gran
*A Certain Gypsum Shoe

"These various inspirations evolve and morph into others before my eyes. One leads to another to another to another....another....other...an....but chiefly, the ocean and geology send me crazy creative.

"I am fiercely independent, so I strive to bring individuality to my jewels & osmotically instill the same within its wearer. I am also a huge fan of reusing, recycling, reconstructing, revamping, redoing, resurrecting, resurging...re-ing pretty much anyway it can be done. I think we've got enough stuff on this planet to keep us all busy for awhile-so i do what i can to change old forgotten wonders into fresh hits. I hate using capitals when I type but I am fighting that hatred, because you see, I am also a fighter. And a lover. And a dreamer. Pretty much like everybody else. Ha! I have two jobs. I am a wild land firefighter for the big bucks and when I can't do fire I do jewels...I find the balance of femininity through my jewels. And at the end of a long summer in the woods with 20 dirty boys I need it! I am in love. I am fearless of everything except rejection. I long for the beach-always. I am a good friend. I look forward to meeting you-the reader and wearer of things created by my hands. I thank you.

"You can find me at:
and naked va vang as my fan page on facebook
nakedvavang on twitter

*if you mention having read this i will hook you up with treats*"

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Heidi Zielinski - Fiber Artist

One of the first artists to include their work in the gallery was Heidi Zielinski. She found me through the TARTS, a fiber art group based in Hamilton, MT when I put out a call to artists through them. Being a fiber artist myself, I wanted to be sure and include some of the fine work of other Montana fiber artists. Click to link to her website, or her blog here.

This is what she has to say about her art:

"I am a fiber artist using fabric, beads, and thread to create art quilts that reflect the beauty and joy of nature and life. I use color, line, and texture to make abstract images that invoke feelings and memories. I am inspired by color and pattern in fabric and sometimes by interesting beads or fibers to create art that is exciting and unique.

"Although my quilts reflect a variety of techniques and styles, my most frequent composition is a collage type background using machine piecing and machine applique. My work is made up of layers beginning with the fabric, enhanced by free motion quilting, and finished off with beading or other embellishment. I use each layer to create paths that help to move the viewer's eye around the piece to discover the details I have put there. I love to combine unusual colors and textures creating interest and sometimes an unexpected result. I am inspired to use stone, bone, horn, and glass beads of many styles, as well as the traditional seed beads and bugles. The beads are a wonderful compliment to the texture and pattern of the fabric and the threadwork.

"I create depth, texture, and movement on my work with intensive free motion quilting and by using cutouts, layering, dangling beads/fringe and fabric (often leaves), and whatever else works to bring the quilt out from the wall and grab your interest. My passion for my work can be seen in every piece I create and I still marvel at the beauty of it."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Re thinking Re organization

I'm redoing this space. Cleaning house, updating and freshening.

I'm hoping for this to be a new era in my life and as such, I'm refocusing. I will still have posts about my goat and my kids. I'll still talk about home renovations (which are going to slowly for my taste). But, my main focus is going to be my lovely shop and the artist who grace it.

Check back to find out more.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What a Grand Opening!

Last night was the grand opening of the Gallery! We had a fabulous turn out. Lots of friends and neighbors and lots of interested passersby came to enjoy the festive atmosphere.

I was interviewed a couple of days ago for an article in the Missoulian newspaper about the Missoula Storefront Art Project. There was also a big mention about the shop. I was thrilled the article made the front page! A lot of the visitors last night said they came because of the article. So neat.

Here's a picture of me before the chaos. I look so full of energy, don't I? I don't feel or look so enthusiastic today. I'm tired from worrying myself into a frazzle yesterday. I do believe I was going non-stop from 8am until 9pm yesterday. Then Michael and I were talked into going to celebrate afterward. This is not such an easy feat anymore. The constant go-till-you-drop... well I've officially dropped! But I'll be back up tomorrow, not to worry.

Mia, a tried and true great girl and one-of-a-kind helper!
She even filed for me without being asked!

Jiah has a tremendous sense of pride in the shop. You'd think he owned the place.
Maybe someday...

I didn't get any shots of the store as it was full of life and festivities, I was too busy schmoozing. This one was taken as the last few people were walking out. That's Kim Shirley there with the luscious red hair. She was our featured artist last night for the First Friday Artwalk.

This was so much fun. I really have to thank my stars that I have such wonderful people in my life that contributed their energy to this. I know it wouldn't have been a success without them. My dearest Michael, Kathy Roth, Debby Florence, my children, and pretty much the entire city of Missoula. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Random Fact #6

I get totally excited when someone stops by the shop. I can barely suppress my "happy puppy" dance!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Artsiehorse Studio & Gallery

We're open!
This has been quite the crazy ride.
Getting a small boutique gallery open for business is not a simple task. It involves begging and pleading with tired kids and husbands to help wrangle furniture,
multiple submissions of DBA paperwork because I can't fill out forms correctly, tons of phone calls, emails, mailings, and lots of support from friends and neighbors. (thanks friends and neighbors!)

Well, we're here now, we're full of fun things, decorated, and the doors are open should anyone happen by.

This is the window display done by one of the local artists here in Missoula to help support the Missoula Storefront Art Project.

Some views of the beautiful work by me, a few local artists and a few great friends strewn across the globe.

We'll be joining the First Friday festivities every month. This first First Friday has been grabbed up by a great local watercolor artist, Kim Shirley. Kim's work usually focuses on western life, horses, cowboys, and old pickups and buildings. This time Kim gives us a more exotic flavor with images from her recent trip to Italy. Thanks Kim!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Power of the Universe

Today I got the keys to my new downtown store... MY NEW DOWNTOWN STORE!!!
It's still empty as of today, but I have enough love to fill it up. And I hope to have enough art to fill it up soon too.

About 3 weeks ago I wrote here and on Facebook about my need to find my next "something".

Almost immediately a friend wrote me asking for help with a project run by the Missoula Cultural Council called the Missoula Storefront Art Project. It is intended to put life back into the windows of storefronts left empty by business that have gone under due to economic distress. This is to be done by having local artists install creative displays in shop fronts. This is intended to make the area look more upbeat and less deserted. More of a desirable place for new businesses to open. I was asked to organize the info from the artists with examples of what they planned to do. So far none of the buildings had art in the windows. I thought this was a wonderful thing to put my attention and focus on when I needed a good challenge.

That same week, maybe a day later, Michael, my husband was searching studio spaces downtown. No real reason, just for kicks. I have a small space for my quilting and art-making, he has the bedroom for his circuit bending and electronic music gear... he just thought it would be fun to have a place to go that wasn't "here" to be creative.

There were a few teeny tiny spaces available. Not much spectacular. But one really stood out. It was a huge basement studio with room for the both of us and attached storefront above. Both for rent. Both for not much more than the little studios he'd seen. Michael casually showed me the Craigslist ad. I don't think he was really serious, but for the price, the studio alone was worth looking into.

The first thing I thought was, rent the space for the studio below and just allow the shop space to be used for the Storefront Art Project. I didn't need it, but they did. It would be a good start to the program.

But it was nagging at me. The more I thought about it, the more I began to see the potential. What if I really could get into a new line of business? Could I be a successful art gallery owner? I ruminated over it for a couple of weeks before deciding that, yes, I would try this! The lease is only for 3 months because the last person defaulted. I could see what happens in 3 months and go from there.

I went and looked at the space last Thursday. It was in rough shape downstairs, but upstairs in the shop it was nice. Really all it needs is some paint and good light. I wanted it. BAD. I brought her a deposit the next day and today I get the keys. This is happening very fast.

Tomorrow I meet up with the first Storefront Art Project artist. I really can't believe this is happening. I must be out of my mind. I've already filed for my licensing and have started buying fixtures. THIS is what happens when you ask the universe for a challenge.

Pictures soon!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shell Quilt

This is a project that I started at least 6 months ago while I was at the Ceretana. I'd painted it and had high hopes but, then I lost interest for... well, till this week. I've finally sandwiched it and started quilting. I used Lumiere metallic paints and some fabric pastels for the shells and "water". I machine stitched around the shells an in them for a bit of depth. Now I'm adding some hand stitching for sand.

Oh! And, I also found a small storefront with basement studio area for a screaming deal downtown... I wonder if I'll have the guts to do something about it?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Random Fact #5

I really like losing track of time on the computer. But the dishes refuse to do themselves...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No Maps on the Career Path

I need to move on. I need a new direction. A new horizon, a new job... but not any ol' job. I need something that will inspire me to smile or whistle while I work. Something creative. Something I can feel good about. Something that I want to do when I get up in the morning. Something that will contribute to the happiness of other people or animal's lives. I do lots and lots of things that fit these descriptions on a daily basis, but the point I am making is that I need the things I do to PAY ME!

Cleaning houses is a fine job. For someone of a heartier constitution, it may be a lifelong career. It pays well, the people are generally very happy you are there to make their lives easier, usually no one breathing down your neck so you are free to work as you please. BUT! I have been having physical issues that complicate my work. Back pain, joint pain, dizzy spells, and low blood sugar have been making work uncomfortable lately. Well, for a while actually. I just am getting fed up enough about it now that I'm whining. Audibly.

Let's brainstorm ways Melanie can make money creatively:


My etsy store has sold a whopping nada since I opened it. But that could because I've neglected it horribly since I listed my first 18 items. I hear tell that the pictures on an etsy page will make or break a store. The pictures not taken by me are just lovely. I hired a photographer friend of mine to photograph some of my work for my etsy site on trade. (I still owe her a set of gloves) The ones I took are hideous and don't show the products in good detail. My camera gives me a case of the "goddammit"s. I just can't get the lighting right. So, I haven't listed anything else since because I have only gotten crappy photos. I think my crafty things are better appreciated when held in your hand anyway.

I think the whole etsy thing is not for me. I spent more time online than making things to put online when I started it. That's not really productive. I'll keep it up and probably will add things here or there, but it's not going to be a full time pursuit.

Craft Markets

My husband has suggested I take my creative vomitings to the local arts and crafts markets on Saturdays throughout summer. I suppose it's a start, but it's hardly a full time job. I mean we just bought a house! I need a regular income! Once a week for 20 or so weeks is not going to feed us year round. I may give it a shot next weekend... but what would I sell? There's my knitting, quilting, stuffed critters, dyed fabric, paintings, drawings... where do I focus? That's like asking an amphibian to pick land or water!

I'm not a very fast knitter, which makes keeping a full inventory difficult. Though, people do really like the things I make. I've had numerous requests for my gloves and hats. Sideline maybe? But not my main focus... I just wouldn't make enough off of it.

I've not been doing much in the way of painting or drawing lately. The "good stuff" comes in spurts of creative genius (HA!) with lots of crap in between. Not good for making me rich either. No one wants crap.

I LOVE making my little tater stuffies! They are so fun. I really just want to keep them when I make them. And set them on my bed. And talk to them. But I've yet to sell a single one... I don't know if anyone else is as crazy as I am about armless furry things. Maybe I'll push them for a while and see where it takes me. Maybe.

Art quilts are fun. They are fantabulous to make. I really enjoy the process of dyeing, printing, hand sewing, and touching all that fabric! But I don't know if there's really a market for them. I seem to have a ton of them on display around town and have sold 2 in the last year. I suppose that's better than the big fat zero etsy sales.

Something Completely New

I've recently toyed with the idea of doing something new. Daring even. Like opening a gallery/studio space for other artists ala the Ceretana. I have ideas on how to run things in a more professional way than how they were run at the Ceretana. Things there didn't run all that smoothly at times... but that's another story. There are many open store fronts downtown and a ton of artists in this community who need space to work and exhibit on the cheap. With maybe a small modest shop for selling arty/crafty things too. I think I'd focus on mixed media and sculpture since that is a niche that seems not overly full in this town.

This all takes money though. And I am not exactly rolling in it. I could share responsibility with other like minded artist types or business folk. But do I want it to be a co-op or a profit driven environment? Do I want to let other people have a full share? I'm not really sure I'm that trusting or giving. But then, if it were a co-op and it failed... it's not JUST my fault and it's not JUST me who loses. I'm not thinking failure right now though. I want to succeed!

Fact of the matter: I must start something. Soon. I can't wait forever.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I got a goat.

She's the cutest thing. 3 years old, a Nubian, Saanen, Alpine cross, has milk, likes her belly rubbed, walks on a leash... sort of.

Why on earth would I do such a thing, you ask? Well, it all started when I learned to knit. I was reading up on the kinds of fibers there are, how much they cost, where they come from, etc. I had also just learned to dye fabric. So an idea sparked. "Hey! Wouldn't it be cool to learn to spin and dye my own yarn?"

I began to research Angora goats and their care. I figured mohair would be the way to go. It's shiny, warm, not too scratchy and I've always liked goats since I was a kid. While I was
researching, I noticed that Angora goats are kind of funny looking with their long curly coats. Not to mention once they're shaved; they look like trimmed poodles! But they can't help it, right?

I looked up goat breeders and the prices for a full blooded Angora goat is not what I expected. I was looking and expecting for around $75 or less. Like the other random goats I've seen in the paper. I was finding them for as much as $500! So, my goat search was put on hold for a while.

Last October I made the difficult decision to sell one of my 2 horses. It was difficult because I didn't NEED to sell him, and he was the best mannered horse... most of the time. But, circumstances did make it necessary for Joker to find a new home that was a better fit for him.

That left Spirit alone and lonely. She's been alone for almost a year now and seems quite content most of the time. She gets lots of attention from the kids and me. But it's not the same as having her herd with her all the time. Some one to bat flies with, someone to scratch itchy spots with while lounging under a tree in the lazy part of the day. So, I thought about goats again.

Goats have historically been kept with horses as companions. They actually will form quite strong bonds. But I couldn't bring myself to pay extravagant amounts for a goat. I'm not sure why I'll pay thousands for a horse that will not bring any physical value to the household, but not a goat who would. It really isn't logical.

Then I found a book called Goat Song by Brad Kessler at the library. It's a memoir about a change in lifestyle from New York writer to Virginia goatherd. I fell in love with his milk goats. I fell in love with the idea of providing sustenance to my family by caring for and being cared for by a goat. Not to mention that dairy goats are much more normal looking than Angoras!

So, I made half hearted calls to people in the paper advertising goats for sale. I bookmarked Craigslist ads but never replied. I hadn't actually been around goats for a very long time and was a bit nervous about this new creature coming to live with me. Every kind of animal has it's own quirks and characteristics to get used to. I know horses, dogs, cats, iguanas, chickens, lots of animals! Goats have always been someone else's animals, I've never had to deal with the day to day of goat care or goat behavioral issues (of which I'd heard a few stories). And would I really be up to milking a goat? Daily?

This last weekend was the last weekend of the Western Montana Fair here in Missoula. Of course we had to go and ride some rides, eat some good tasting bad food, watch the rodeo, bet on horse racing, and get our eardrums burst by the demolition derby. And the animals. I have to go through the animal barn.

There were goats in the animal barn. About 20 of them. And some of them had for sale signs on their pens. All of them were so friendly. A few were practically climbing the gates to get scratched behind the ears. One little floppy eared black goat was batting her eyelashes and being coy, then she'd lay her head on you when you got close. She was not for sale. I'd have put her in my pocket and run off with her if no one was looking!

I had a conversation with the mother of a 4H family about their goats and she told me all about them. I pet all the curious faces and scratched behind all the horn bumps.
I asked her if any of hers were for sale. Yes, 2 were. A milk goat named Cutie Pie and a yearling boy named Sarge. I already knew I didn't want a male if it wasn't castrated. They can be pretty horny, nasty buggers and I just don't want to deal with that! How much was the girl? $35. She's "just a crossbred" so she's worth much less. Oh, my. I think I found myself a goat, I thought to myself. Before I really thought too much about the decision I wrote a check.
I made arrangements to pick her up, we swapped phone numbers, and I was on my way to find my husband to tell him what I'd done. Luckily, my husband is an understanding guy.

The nice 4H mom showed me how to milk her when I came to pick her up. I'm not really very smooth at it yet, but I'm getting better.

Cupie (short for Cutie Pie) has been here for only 4 days but already I think she's part of the family. Spirit is certainly enamored of her. She's been trying to groom her, but Cupie is still a bit overwhelmed by the size of her new roommate.

So, I guess spinning mohair isn't going to happen right now. That's ok. I just have to learn how to make cheese.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I had one job today. At the last minute, my client called and cancelled. Shucks!

Luckily, I wasn't phased. I was already in the midst of creating a hand bound journal for my daughter's birthday.

And what did I do with the rest of my time?

Make more!

Here's a square ribbon closure one...

Align Center

This one's not sewn yet. But I think it's cute.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Random Fact #4

I hate the television.

We turned of our cable, haven't gotten a skinny TV yet, get no reception on our bunny ears at the new house...

I still watch too much TV! Hulu... Roku... Netflix... Whenever the TV is on and I'm in the room I am utterly transfixed. Even if it's reruns I've seen. Even if it's garbage news shows. TV is a drug, and apparently I'm a junky.

Which is precisely the reason why I HATE television.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tater Stuffies!

One of the new fun things I've been working on lately is the Tater Stuffie. A tater stuffie is about 7 inches tall, has no arms or legs, but occasionally has a tail. They also sometimes eat popcorn...

Bunny Tater

This one is a Siamese Tater

This is the Devil Mouse Tater

This is FrankenTater
You can see them (or make them yours!) HERE at my etsy store!

Friday, May 14, 2010

More from the last few months

I haven't done too much in the way of travel in over a year. Just a drive to the lake or to visit a local microbrewery here or there. So when I got a chance I jumped at it. Last month my sister Kacy got married in Carson City, Nevada. Carson is a looooong way from Missoula, Montana, let me tell you! My two young co-pilots and I drove the 15 or so hours down over 2 days and back over 2 days with 3 days of visiting sandwiched between. By the time we got back I was grumpy, tired, and cramped up from driving.

And, although I was super excited to see my family and be in the wedding of my little sister, we'd just started moving into our new house and had a ton of work to do. We were only half moved out of the old house by the time we left. Michael stayed back for both work reasons and to take care of the zoo while the kids and I were gone.

I really like my sister's new husband Cory. He is a stand-up kind of guy. He's taking on my sister (not easy, I know from experience) and her 3 lovely sons. It takes a special kind of man to love another's kids as his own. Kacy and I have been blessed with the men we found.

The wedding was beautiful, and so was Kacy. Mia and I even got nice looking bride's maid dresses (thanks Kacy!) which is important for not looking like an overstuffed sateen armchair. I didn't get any pictures of Jiah at the wedding. He hid around back with the other restless boys until the ceremony started. Not much for primping with the girls, I guess.

Jiah and Mia loved hanging out with their cousins. It had been years since they all got to be together. Grandpa was lots of fun for them too. He brought 3 of his bizzillion guitars so the kids and he could play together. My oldest nephew Andy is quite the brilliant plucker! I hear he's a trumpet player too. I can't wait to hear his first album in a few years.

Just before the trip to Carson City and just before we moved into the new house, I started an internship at the Zootown Arts Community Center. I am the Pottery and Glass Fusing DIY Center manager. The internship involves working 4 or so hours per week inventorying, clear coating pottery, ordering supplies and bisque, and hosting a Saturday Ladies Night pottery class. So much nicer than cleaning houses! But I actually come home messier when I'm clear coating. That's drippy very stuff.

The last 2 weeks my job has been trying to get the kiln to work too. It's been having some technical difficulties and the pottery has been building up because we can't fire it. I replaced some parts and wires the other day (Melanie, electrician extraordinaire!) but it didn't fix the issue. Hanna, the director at the ZACC, is on the case and I'm sure it will be fixed soon. She's like Wonder Woman and my kindergarten teacher wrapped up in one person. I'm pretty sure she can fix anything.